Dragon Ball Z's Great Saiyaman Saga marked a bold new direction for the series. Following the climactic events of the Cell Games, readers of the manga and viewers of the anime were thrust from the world-ending, dramatic stakes of the previous arc to a more low-key look at Gohan's adolescence, as he struggles to balance his academic pursuits with his martial arts.
Enter Videl -- Gohan's classmate and daughter of Mr. Satan, the man who took the credit for Cell's defeat seven years prior. While Gohan puts forth a meek, awkward persona, Videl is brash, tough and unafraid to speak her mind. As the daughter of the self-proclaimed world champion, Videl takes up super-heroics in her spare time but finds herself undermined by the new caped crusader on the block, the Great Saiyaman -- a thinly disguised Gohan.
It doesn't take long for Videl to work out the Great Saiyaman's true identity, and she uses this information to blackmail Gohan into giving her flying lessons. Her martial arts tutelage under Gohan makes for some memorable scenes in which a (relatively) normal person comes face to face with the abject weirdness of the Dragon Ball world, encountering concepts both fans and the characters have taken for granted such as ki manipulation and flight with fresh eyes.
Videl's assertiveness and rough-and-tumble personality contrasting with her schoolgirl crush on Gohan make her a joy to watch, but sadly her role in the story didn't last. After registering in the 25th World Martial Arts Tournament, Videl comes face to face with Spopovich -- who's secretly under the mind control of the warlock Babidi -- and ends up on the receiving end of a one-sided beating.
Following the event, Videl gets pushed to the series' sidelines for the rest of the Buu Saga. She and Gohan later marry off-screen during the ten-year timeskip, and she gives birth to a quarter-Saiyan daughter, Pan. Following the franchise's long hiatus, Videl would go on to play a role in 2013's Battle of Gods. Taking place during her pregnancy with Pan, Videl takes part in Goku's Super Saiyan God ceremony, channeling her unborn daughter's ki to help power up her father-in-law.
For the rest of Dragon Ball Super, Videl is once again relegated to the sidelines. Worse still, her once-abrasive personality has been completely sanded down to that of a docile housewife. It's not that being a housewife inherently negates being a badass -- Android 18 shows that perfectly possible to be both at the same time -- but Super never gives Videl anything cool to do again.
At the very least, she gets one sweet character moment in Episode 76 of Super -- where Gohan's actor rival Barry Kahn tries to trick her into thinking Gohan is an adulterer, but she refuses to rise to the bait. Dragon Ball rarely plays romance sincerely, and scenarios such as prospective adultery would usually be played as a gag. That Videl rebukes the charge in such a sincere way stands out as a rare, heartfelt romantic moment in a franchise generally lacking in such.
For now, it seems like Gohan's wife has retired from the martial artists' life, which is a great shame given how much potential she had in the Great Saiyaman Saga. However, with the upcoming Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero promising a prominent role for Pan, many fans are hopeful her parents will get in on the action too. Whether that comes to pass or not, things might finally be looking up for poor, neglected Videl.